Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

Minnehaha County Budget meetings and Opt-Out

The MCC will likely approve a major opt-out to help pay for extra staff, mostly due to crime rates going through the roof. I have suggested (as well as commissioner Barth) that the city of Sioux Falls pay an arrest fee for every person they arrest that is booked into the jail to help curb the costs of the new jail.

I guess 28 positions have been requested by department heads. MedStar Ambulance and Jasper Ambulance have not requested (additional?) funding from the county. The deadline has passed for more than a week.


June 4, 1-5pm            Initial budget presentation to County Commission. Department hearings as requested by Commission.

June 6, 8-12 noon       Budget deliberation and hearings for departments will be scheduled before the County Commission.

June 19, 8-12 noon     Budget Deliberation and hearings as directed by Commission.

July 8, 8 to 12 noon    Budget deliberation if needed.

The following will all be held during regularly scheduled Commission Meetings:

July 9                        Action on additional opt-out by Commission. (Last date to approve additional opt-out is July 15th.)

July 23                      Final review of provisional budget in preparation for July 30th adoption.

July 30                      Adoption of Provisional FY20 County Budget.

August 27                  Museum, library, and 911 presentations to Joint City/County meeting.

September 3              Public hearing for Final FY20 County Budget.

September 10             Final briefing on FY20 Budget.

September 17             No Commission meeting, SDACC Convention.

September 24   Final date for Adoption of FY20 County Budget.

Another Funeral, uh I mean, Wedding Barn

Here we go again (Presentation at the beginning of meeting above) another Wedding Barn. This one is near the new Veterans Cemetery. I guess quite a few neighbors showed up to say they didn’t want it there (Joint jurisdiction with the county and city even though those opposing the barn do NOT live in city limits).

One of the reasons is noise from bands, and the fact it is a heavily traveled gravel road already and people are wondering who will pave it and pay the cost. One of the biggest complaints the neighbors had was that they were never notified or asked if they wanted to live next to a cemetery (they were not notified of the re-zone from ag land) and they were pretty perturbed that the cemetery is going in so close to their residences. I guess when the city wants to rezone they don’t have to get permission from the county, but it seems it is the other way around when the county wants to rezone.

While I wasn’t opposed to the cemetery I still think the Feds or the State should have paid the good taxpayers of Sioux Falls for the land.

Property tax reduction program ‘Questionable’

The more we look into the property tax reductions over the past ten years, the more questions we have. While we are still researching this, some things that stick out so far;

DOC: Historical – Tax Reduction Program.pdf

Tax Reduction Program – Informational Jan. 8.pdf

How was the mayor(s) (Munson & Huether) able to sign off on these, through the Planning Department without the review of the city council? Or even the County Commissions and School District? Were there any state laws violated?

One of the biggest recipients was involved in many LLC’s and ownership groups related to Legacy Development. Ironically one of the persons who would have known about the reductions, Daren Ketchum, now works for Legacy.

Many of the recipients are long time established, successful Sioux Falls businesses, like Raven & Gage brothers. Why would they need tax incentives?

Some of the recipients also received TIFs on top of the reduction, for example Washington Square.

Ironically Midco received a 2018 reduction of $129K. This is just a year after announcing a sponsorship of our Aquatic Center.

Did the TenHaken administration decide to blow the lid off of this to 1) wash there hands of the practice and 2) to see if the media will do some digging around? COS Erica Beck worked in the Planning office when some of these reductions were handed out.

Like I said, we are still researching the ‘many’ connections between the reduction recipients and the previous administration and will have more findings coming soon.

‘Innovation’ could fix the Metro situation

I think an ideal situation would be for the city to take over Metro 911 100% and have Minnehaha and Lincoln County to pay a service fee to the city, like other communities do for water and sewer from Sioux Falls.

The first reason why I think the city should take it over is because, well, we have the money. I get so tired of the city saying we don’t have money for transit or 911 but have oodles of money to subsidize play palaces. If we can drop $10 million a year for a mortgage payment on a facility that generates virtually no revenue for the city besides some scraps in sales taxes, we can afford to subsidize 911. Besides, they already get funding from cell phone usage*. Thirdly, I think 911 operators deserve a living wage and the same benefits as other city employees. The rumor is starting pay at Metro is $13 an hour. If this is true, it is unacceptable. These people may not be driving patrol cars or chasing down drug dealers, but they have a very stressful job. If we can’t start them out at least $18 an hour, how can we expect to get good people and keep them? Bring them under the city umbrella and let them have union membership.

*As for the cell phone tax to fund 911, I think the city is missing a great opportunity to fund 911 even better with the use of 5G. Instead of charging the communications companies such a low licensing/lease fee, they should make it much more substantial and put that money towards 911. These companies make MILLIONS in Sioux Falls, have them pony up for public safety. Just look at this language in the licensing agreement;

b. An annual charge of $175 per pole shall be paid each year in advance for use of City light poles for small cell equipment; and

c. Subject to approval of the City Council, the foregoing fees and charges may be decreased or increased from time to time based upon cost studies conducted to determine a reasonable approximation of the objectively reasonable and nondiscriminatory costs incurred by the City that are specifically related to and caused by the application and plan review and for deployment of small cell equipment on City’s streetlights. Such studies, and any fee adjustments will be subject to applicable laws, including, without limitation, applicable FCC rulings and regulations.

Only $175 per year! I pay almost $100 a year just for a tag on my car. The city council needs to explore a different fee structure.

County Gives $50K to Gloryhouse.

The MCC has a confusing conversation about the topic, and it seems only Karsky and Beninga support giving the money, then at the end, they add the money to the supplemental budget and approve it. I am still baffled by it. BUT, they did the right thing. This was a one-time donation for the new building. Ironically, $50K is what the Gloryhouse paid the city for the land. Isn’t it funny how your tax dollars from one entity just gets passed to another entity. The taxpayers are ALWAYS holding the bag.

Is Niedringhaus planning to be the next Sheriff in Minnehaha County?

First the facts.

Sheriff Milstead recently got re-elected (he wasn’t on the ballot because he did not have a challenger). He has a 4-year term.

Milstead said he wouldn’t retire until the jail is finished, which would be in two years.

Milstead CAN retire in mid-term.

If he does retire, the MCC can ‘appoint’ a replacement (fake incumbent) to serve the remaining two years.

Milstead’s wife has decided to NOT pursue the food contract with Falls Park restaurant this Spring. The city is currently looking for bids.

Niedringhaus has to be working in ‘law enforcement’ in order to be appointed Sheriff (this is what I have been told). It is another reason why he has been moonlighting serving warrants while serving as the full-time Metro Director (to keep his certification). His new job;

Niedringhaus will be leaving at the end of the year.  He’s accepted a new position with the Department of Public Safety; working in an area of law enforcement and intelligence.

So is he looking to be the next sheriff? Don’t know. But it certainly looks like he is trying to make those stars align.

Joint SF City Council/MCC meeting about homeless study

City of Sioux Falls & Minnehaha County share the cost of Homeless study

So at the non-televised joint city council and commission meeting today, the entities decided to split the cost of this study; Homeless-Study

While I think the study is needed, I’m wondering why Augustana (a private university) had to get reimbursed for a ‘research’ project? I guess Augie has trouble scrounging together $27K. Well that’s what you get when you have a Democrat running the joint, poor fundraising skills . . . ouch.

What is also ironic, the local government entity that serves the most homeless, poor and underpriviledged in our community didn’t contribute a penny to the study (SF School District). I guess they have already identified their homeless issues.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Nov 27-28, 2018

No regular meetings this next week, but some interesting tidbits.

Joint Minnehaha County/SF City Council meeting • 4 PM (11/27)

This one is at the County Commission Chambers in the Administration Building.

Another study by Augustana on Homeless peeps. Why do homeless studies cost so much? What? No qualified volunteers?

DOC: Homeless-Study

Breakfast Club • 7:30 AM (11/28)

What an interesting topic to cover over juice and donuts;


SD Association of County Commissioners Approved Resolutions

After reading this, it seems the only thing our state county commissioners want to do is raise our taxes instead of finding ways to cut wasteful spending.

FULL DOC: 2018-Approved-Resolutions

Minnehaha County Commission has interesting meeting

In one of the longest meetings of the year, the MCC discusses rural ambulance services and paving a popular county road.